A raincoat is a waterproof or water-resistant coat. It is worn over your clothes to protect you during inclement weather conditions, such as rain, fog or snow.
The history of some of our rainwear began decades and even centuries ago. Men's names are associated with past history of the raincoat development. But, no doubt women have had a great influence too. Otherwise, why would they be icons in the fashion designs and industry.
The poncho, worn by peoples around the world, has been traced back to the Pre-Incas around 500 B.C.
The Mackintosh originated around 1824. It is stylish and functional to date.
What is now known as the trench coat was first made in the mid 1800s for army officers. In following wars, modifications made it a more practical garment for use by service personnel. Later it was adapted by fashion houses that have fashion shows annually to show their latest updates.
Many of the earlier coats were treated with oil or vulcanized to shed water. This waterproofing often made them stiff and heavy.
Functional and Stylish
Today you will find in the marketplace a wide range of functional and stylish rain gear. It is available in a wide variety of water-resistant fabrics, colors, designs, and sizes for men, women and children. Brand names are often associated with a particular style of raincoat.
Some manufacturers gear their products to children's designs, colors, and sizes--so they will like to wear them. Others may only be interested in only creating raincoats with particular features that appeal to only men or women.
Those who engage in farming, construction, oil drilling, ranching, fishing and rescue industries need rainwear that is different from the everyday commuter or student. There are brands that are known for those types of rain protection.
Raincoats in Movies and TV
Movie goers have definitely been made aware of the trench coat when they saw it worn by Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca.
Television has also made us aware of the trench coat. Colombo always wore or carried his trench coat. You immediately think of it when you see or recall a Colombo show.
Also, let us not forget Inspector Clouseau played by Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movie, who also wore a trench coat.
The inverness cape, a water repellant coat with an appearance of a cape, was worn by Sherlock Holmes, who became a well-known detective character by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Clint Eastwood made us aware the poncho for rain protection. He wore this style of rain gear in several of his western movies. Most other western movie characters wore the duster.
These are not the only styles of rainwear. There are slickers, especially the yellow slicker, which are very distinctive. They are more reflective in low light conditioners than other types.
Foldable rain jackets are a good addition to your backpack if you are hiking or camping.
Many of us may have a disposable plastic poncho, rain jacket, or rain suit handy in our car or place of work. They can save your clothing and keep you dry during unexpected inclement weather.
Summary of a Raincoat
Raincoats, whether stylish or functional, are an important element of everyone's wardrobe. In some areas of the world you might need one almost daily, while in other areas you would almost never need one.
No matter whether you are a man, woman or child and where you live or travel and the type of protection you require-- formal, commuting to work, working outside in bad weather or on the seas, children's play and dress wear, protection for wheelchair bound persons--you will find an large selection from which to choose.